Most places have a forgotten glory, recalled only once in a blue moon through some triumphant tales of yore. Basil Joseph's Godha too tells such a story - the halcyon days of ‘gatta gusthi’ in Kannadikkallu.
Once a fierce wrestler, Captain (Renji Panicker), along with his team, had brought many laurels to the village. In present-day Kannadikkallu, gatta gusthi exists only in tales.
Enter Captain’s son and our hero Anjaneya Das (Tovino Thomas), along with his gang of boys, who makes the village’s wrestling arena, Manayathuveyil, into a cricket ground.
A clash ensues as both the generations are not ready to let go of their favorite ground. Cricket vs gusthi is the main theme in the first half and it swings in action with ample humor .
The plot is then shifted to Punjab as Das is forced to pursue his higher studies there. Soon, Adithi Singh (Wamiqa Gabbi) is introduced to us without much hype and we see her as a batch mate of Das.
Adithi is not a girl who settles for anything less than her dreams. And the biggest of her dreams is to become a wrestler.
Das falls for the cheerful, bubbly and free-spirited Adhithi. But circumstances force him to leave Punjab once and for all. Yes, it’s not a happily-ever-after story that awaits him.
While the first half of the movie engages the audience through numerous comic sequences by Das, his friends, and glimpses of colorful campus life in Punjab, the second half packs hardcore action, say fights and a thrilling gusthi match.
The second half of the movie will make you fall in love with Adithi, who carries the movie on her shoulders.
The director deserves a special round of applause for taking a subject that was recently explored in two high-budget Bollywood movies (Dangal and Sulthan) and making it into a wholesome package for Malayali audience.
Thomas does not have much to offer in the second half, where he’s overshadowed by the Punjabi beauty. Songs by Shaan Rahman blend well with the sequences, and the romantic number “Aaro Nenjil' can enliven your senses.
Aju Varghese's Balettan would remain memorable for his perfect comic timing and screen presence. Hareesh Perumana, Sreejith Ravi and Kottayam Pradeep too deserve special mention.
Although the climax is predictable like any such sports movie, it’s always good to see someone fighting for their dreams and winning it. The happiness doubles as it's someone from the second sex.
Packed with loads of humor and decent performances, Godha is a simple sports story that will not disappoint you, not to mention the pertinent question it puts forward: “how high can a girl dream?”